CHEYENNE-Martha Hansen, the wife of former U.S. Sen. Clifford Hansen and grandmother of Gov. Matt Mead, died Thursday morning at her family ranch in Jackson, according to Mead's office. She was 97.

Born Martha Close in Sheridan, Hansen worked on the family ranch and lived in D.C. while Clifford served in the Senate.

After meeting Clifford Hansen while the two were students at the University of Wyoming, the two were married for more than 75 years. Their daughter Mary ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1990, but Mary's son Matt won the governorship last year.

In a statement Thursday, the governor said his grandmother had a quiet grace that was a defining attribute of her life.

"She touched many, as a mother, friend, and ambassador for the state she loved," Mead said in the statement. "Whatever her role, she was unfailingly kind and gracious and she leaves my family both a legacy and a lesson in the resilient strength of a kind heart."

Funeral arrangements are pending.


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